National day celebrations at the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) continue to bring community together to enjoy the day and share the joy and pride of different NATO Member and Partner nations. Today, the JWC hosted a breakfast and formal reception in honour of the National Day of France, La Fête Nationale, which is celebrated on 14 July.
The morning started off with a French breakfast buffet, organized by the French National Support Element, where guests were served croissants, pains au chocolat, escargots aux raisins and a selection of beverages such as juice and hot chocolate. The celebration was open to all JWC staff, represented by 20 Nations, and their families.
Welcoming the guests, the French Senior National Representative, Army Colonel Olivier Barney, provided insight into French history, and talked about the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, an event which is as much a part of world history as it is a milestone of French history.
The Colonel said: “To commemorate this day, France every year holds the largest military parade in Europe, which the French people are very attached to”, adding that this year’s parade will be the first one to be performed in front of France’s newly-elected President François Hollande, who is also the Chief of the Armed Forces.
French National Day Reception
The celebration continued throughout the evening with French Army Major General Jean Fred Berger, the Commander, throwing a formal reception at the JWC. Among the distinguished guests who attended the reception were H.E. Jean Marc Rives, French Ambassador to Norway and Lieutenant Colonel Frederic Bartei, the French Defence Attaché; Mrs Tora Aasland, County Governor of Rogaland; Brigadier General Geir Anda; Chief Human Resources at Norwegian Armed Forces; Mr Hans Vik, Rogaland’s Chief of Police; Dr Linda Duevel, Director International School of Stavanger; Mr Lasse G Aga, Honorary Consul of France in Stavanger; Mr Ivar Eie, Director Business Development at Aircontactgruppen; Mr Marc Ordaz, Director “Institut Francais de Stavanger”; as well as the Joint Warfare Centre staff, including U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Steven J. DePalmer and Norwegian Army Brigadier Gunnar E Gustavsen.
Speaking on the occasion, Major General Berger welcomed his distinguished guests and NATO colleagues to celebrate the French National Day, once again, at the JWC. The General underlined the importance of the cultural diversity and teamwork that make up JWC's organization.
He said: “This is an occasion to be together and to celebrate our common values as well as to pay tribute to our national history, which is a testament to what maintains our national cohesion.”
The General then highlighted the strong relationship between Norway and the JWC, which he defined as a “major priority.” He then expressed his pride about the visit of His Majesty King Harald V to the JWC on Monday 14 May 2012.
“I testify that we work in total confidence with Norway and we are very welcome in this wonderful country,” he said.
H.E. Jean Marc Rives, the French Ambassador who was recently appointed to Norway, also addressed the guests and underlined the importance of cooperation and solidarity between the NATO Allies who work together to promote peace.
The Ambassador said Norway was a country in which he deliberately chose to serve; a country that he holds in high esteem for both its proud history and significant contribution to world peace and security today.
During the reception, the guests enjoyed the festive atmosphere and sampled an exquisite variety of French cuisine and drinks including champagne and tomato and mint gaspacho. The cocktail menu specials included a wide choice of canapés such as smoked salmon on toast with sour cream, coriander, chive, salt and pepper; French tapenade; hot canapés; quiches and mini pizzas, a variety of tasty toothpick appetizers with prune and bacon and cherry tomatoes, and other little fresh treats. Topping this was a rich selection of deserts including macarons, lime and raspberry tartlets, and mini cakes such as cannelés bordelaises, mini choux gourmands caramelisés à la crème fouettée and bavarois.
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